Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has secured a contract from the US Navy for the construction of six more CH-53K King Stallion helicopters.

The aircraft will support the mission of the US Marine Corps (USMC) to carry out expeditionary heavy-lift assault transport of armoured vehicles, equipment and personnel.

These will be part of the 200 aircraft Program of Record for the USMC and the extra units increases the total to 24 CH-53K production aircraft.

As per the contract, which is a low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 4, Sikorsky is said to deliver the aircraft from January 2024.

In May last year, Sikorsky secured a contract worth $1.13bn from the US Naval Air Systems Command to build 12 production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters.

Naval Air Systems Command Air ASW, assault and special mission programmes programme executive office major general Greg Masiello said: “This contract award is a testament to the government’s confidence in the CH-53K platform.

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“This award shows that we are working hard to make the aircraft more affordable.

“The capability and affordability of the CH-53K is important to ensure that we provide a valuable addition to the United States Marine Corps and our friends and allies.”

The CH-53K programme currently has five aircraft in the Connecticut facilities and more than two dozen in different stages of production.

The first aircraft is expected to be delivered in September next year.

Sikorsky programme director Bill Falk said: “The production of this CH-53K helicopter represents a new era in capabilities, technologies, safety and mission flexibility for the US Marine Corps.

“Sikorsky is committed to supporting the Marine Corps to maximise the benefits of this all new helicopter.”